Please note Robert has visited two Sweet Tea resturants. If you are looking for Sweet Tea’s Resturant and Catering (Pineville, NC) then click here to read that follow-up.
In this episode of Restaurant Impossible, Robert tries to help out two owners who happened to be married and who have been owners for less than a year. The trouble with this place is you have owners that really don't know what they are doing, from service to cooking. They are kind of learning as they go and that's hard to do especially when business is lousy. Speaking of lousy the food in this place came from the freezer, a mix packet, and cans. I don't want to go to a restaurant to eat cafeteria quality food.
If you are going to call your restaurant Sweet Tea, then your sweet tea better be outstanding. Unfortunately, particularly for Robert's taste buds, the tea was not outstanding. So he had them do a test in which they had to make up their own sweet teas with some ingredients Robert prepared for them. None of them passed the test. Robert gave then some guidance on how to make great tasting sweet teas that the customers will love.
I think creating the sweet teas is unique for a restaurant. They are a simple, non-fancy joint. They need something to call themselves special, so I think the different flavored sweet teas is a great idea.
Pomegranate Iced Tea | Click here for the recipe
Pomegranate juice combined with sweet sounds like a winning combination to me.
Brined Pork Chops with Apple Hash | Click here for the recipe
Brining pork chops is a great way to add flavor and keep them moist. I pretty much brine any pork chop I make with a dry heat method. Apples and pork classic combo that Robert gives an update to with making an apple hash.
I think this restaurant was impossible to fix. It closed it's doors last fall. I read a lot of negative reviews (Urban Spoon) about the service and food even after Robert made his attempt to save the place. The only real positives I read seem to always be about the tea. I think the owners were just in over their heads. They didn't seem to have the knowledge and the food passion to make this place work. They needed a lot more than just 2 days of help. I think Robert's visits only helps places run by people with experience and passion that just have lost their way. No offense to the owners themselves they might be successful in other areas, but they needed a lot more help than Robert gave them.
I think this is a good show to watch for those looking to buy or start a restaurant. It's very difficult. I have a lot of food knowledge but I am by no means wanting to open a restaurant.
If you want more Robert Irvine recipes, here are some of his available cookbooks:
Impossible to Easy: 111 Delicious Recipes to Help You Put Great Meals on the Table Every Day
Mission: Cook!: My Life, My Recipes, and Making the Impossible Easy